When a club like Manchester United have a player like this, suddenly all eyes are firmly focused upon him, with expectations high, and hopes even higher. At 18 years of age, Ravel Morrison, who is described as a "supremely gifted talent" by the official United website, and labelled by all who watch him as something of a sensation, can certainly be categorized in the "exciting young talent" bracket, but unfortunately for Manchester United, there is another bracket which the Manchester born teenager can be placed under.
It is far from a positive bracket, and has done no favours for the blindingly bright future the youngster is said to have ahead of him. Sir Alex Ferguson may rate him incredibly highly, saying recently "he's a very, very talented boy", but there is one rather heavy and unwanted weight, tugging on Morrison's apparent Achilles heel; preventing him from further progression in the Manchester United team. Nothing can be more frustrating to witness.
It is well known that Morrison has had a troubled life off the pitch. He was found guilt of witness intimidation and sentenced to a 12 month referral order, being told by the judge that if he were to step out of line again, he would spend a year in a young offenders institute. Inside the club, Morrison has experienced disciplinary problems with him not turning up to training apparently being a recent issue. Throughout these unwanted and avoidable complications, Manchester United have publicly stood behind their special talent, but it seems this club loyalty may not be rewarded by the focused and hardworking attitude which succesful sportsmen so desperately need.
He hardly has to look far for inspiration in this field. He is at Manchester United, a club renowned for building a team framed on the ethos and type of players who work desperately hard for themselves and each other until the end of every game. It is what has brought about the clubs huge success, as club legend Ryan Giggs confirmed by saying: "You can have all the qualities in the world, but hard work is the key to everything."
Unfortunately, despite being born and bred in Manchester, playing for the Manchester United youth Academy, the reserves and now beginning to break into the first team, the 18 year-old does not seem to have fully grasped the concept of the club. Sir Alex Ferguson and others behind the scenes at Old Trafford can see that there is a problem with his attitude, and for players with a rebellious attitude under Ferguson, there are a limited amount of places the player can go - the overwhelming favourite being the exit door.
His contract expires at the end of the current season, and if United cannot tame the beast inside of Morrison, it is likely that he will be on his way out very soon. If he were to still be a United player by the time the season finished, the fee United will receive would be set by tribunal and would be around £300,000 - much less than they could get from him through a sale in January. A £500,000 bid from Newcastle has already been rejected.
Despite these bothersome hurdles which may or may not be passed by the club and the player, it must be taken into consideration that Ravel Morrison is very young. He is only a boy and has only recently been thrust under the harsh limelight of critics and fans alike, so it is understandable that perhaps his head is not in full working order, being swayed from one distraction to another. If anyone were to have the ability to put Morrison's mind in the right place, it is Sir Alex Ferguson. No doubt he has had a word or two before, but who knows the situation now?
What is for sure is that it would be a huge shame for Morrison to throw his opportunity at Manchester United away so easily. Surely it is not too difficult to set your alarm, pull your socks up, and get into training to play with some of the best players and best coaches in the world? There is certainly incredible motivation, but perhaps the troubled youngster is too distracted to notice it. The fact is, the 18 year-old is in a hugely privileged situation at United, and has the potential to become one of the best.
If he is not willing to make a few sacrifices for the good of his career, it is indeed a loss for Manchester United and for football, but also a deep loss for him. Raw talent is like a muscle; it must be worked upon. As Giggs has said of Sir Alex Ferguson:
"He's seen plenty of quality players come and go at United over the years, but the main thing that sets great players apart from the rest is their work ethic."
Take note. Please.